Director: JIM MICKLE

109 minutes, U.S.A.-France, 2014, Colour, D-Cinema

When Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall, Dexter) shoots dead an intruder in his Texas home, he is left filled with remorse, and uncomfortable with the almost congratulatory response of his friends and neighbours. Attending the funeral, he is accosted by the dead man’s ex-con father (a magnificently grizzled Sam Shepard), who promises retribution. The scene is set for a game of cat-and-mouse between the two men, and indeed, for a time, it would seem that this is how the film will play out, with the shadow of John Carpenter looming large over proceedings.

However, director Jim Mickle has in his past films, Stake Land (2010) and We Are What We Are (2013), shown a desire to subvert genre tropes, and Cold in July similarly evolves over its course, becoming a much different, darker, and more satisfying film than initially suggested. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

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